News Post

Fred Gray Deserving of Presidential Medal of Freedom Says Alabama State Bar President Bob Methvin


MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama State Bar President Robert G. “Bob” Methvin, Jr. this week, sent a letter to President Joe Biden, requesting that he award Montgomery native Fred D. Gray the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Methvin described Gray as a “true American hero” deserving of this prestigious award.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom recognizes people who have made an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

“There are very few people, if any, more deserving of this honor,” wrote Methvin in his letter. “Attorney Fred Gray served as the first African-American President of the Alabama State Bar from 2002-2003. He recently turned 90 years old and has spent the majority of his life fighting for the civil rights of all Americans.”

Methvin’s letter went on to outline the long list of legal accomplishments that make Gray deserving of the honor, citing the numerous cases Gray argued that became some of the most important cases in U.S. constitutional law advocating for the rights of African Americans and against segregation and discrimination on the basis of race.

In addition, Gray was the personal attorney for Ms. Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ms. Claudette Colvin. At a young age, Gray defended Ms. Colvin and Ms. Parks for refusing to give up their seats to white passengers on Montgomery’s buses. He was described by Dr. King as “the chief counsel for the protest movement.”

>>Read the full letter here.

The Alabama State Bar (ASB) is the official licensing and regulatory organization of lawyers in Alabama. Since 1923, when the Alabama State Bar was created by an act of the legislature, ASB programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system. It is dedicated to promoting the professional responsibility and competence of its members, improving the administration of justice and increasing the public understanding of and respect for the law.

Media Contact: Melissa Warnke
Director of Communications, Alabama State Bar
(256) 338.0621 (c) |